Snow Blower Stalls When Choke Is Off – How To Troubleshoot

In Brief: Snow Blower Stalls When Choke Is Off

If your snow blower stalls when the choke is off, the problem lies in the fuel-air mixture. Check that you are using the right type of fuel, and replace it if you are not. Check the fuel lines and carburetor seals for holes and tears. Finally, clean the carburetor to ensure it is not contaminated.

If you can get your snow blower to start but it stalls whenever you disengage the choke, there are a few common problems that could be causing your issues.

Before using your snow blower again, you should know that operating it with the choke for more than a few minutes can cause major damage.

This guide will take you through the step-by-step troubleshooting methods for identifying and fixing the problems associated with a snow blower stalling when the choke is off.

Troubleshooting Guide – Snow Blower Stalls When Choke Is Off

If your snowblower will only run with the choke engaged, three basic problems could be the root cause.

Follow the three step-by-step procedures below to rule out these basic problems before seeking the help of a professional.

Checking Appropriate Fuel

The number one issue with snow blowers is people using the wrong fuel.

Step 1: No Ethanol Fuel

You should never use fuel that contains ethanol. Many fuels do contain ethanol, so the first thing you should do is check that you are using ethanol-free fuel.

If you have used ethanol fuel, move on to the next step. Otherwise, move on to the next method.

Step 2: Drain Fuel

Clamp the fuel line that runs from the tank to the carburetor. Remove the fuel line from the carburetor.

Use a fuel tray or other receptacle to catch the fuel as you remove the clamp from the fuel line.

Replace the fuel line afterward.

Step 3: Replace Filter

Inspect the fuel filter. It may have degraded to the point of being useless, so replace it if it has.

Step 4: Clean Fuel System

Add a small amount of your chosen fuel system cleaner, along with some fresh non-ethanol gasoline, and run the engine for a few minutes.

Let it sit overnight, or as long as the instructions for the cleaner tell you. Add fresh fuel in the morning and run the machine.

Checking For Air Leaks

If the snow blower’s choke needs to be engaged for the machine to run, then too much air may be getting into your carburetor.

Step 1: Check The Fuel Line

First, check the fuel line. Make sure both ends are tightly secured. Inspect it closely for any cracks or holes that could allow air to enter the line.

If you see any damage, replace it.

Step 2: Check The Primer

The other culprit for allowing air through fuel lines is the primer. Your snow blower will probably have a primer bulb you can use to pump extra fuel when starting the machine.

Locate it, and inspect both the bulb itself and the line that runs from it in the same way that you checked the fuel line.

If there is damage, replace it.

Step 3: Check The Carburetor

If the fuel lines are fine, then the issue could be the carburetor. Check that it is mounted securely and has not come loose. Tighten bolts as necessary.

Take a look at the gasket seal and check that the seal is good. If there are tears, or the seal no longer appears airtight, you should remove and replace the seal.

Checking For Contamination

If you know you have the right fuel, and you have inspected for air leaks, then you will need to inspect the carburetor for contamination.

Step 1: Remove The Carburetor

You will need to refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Clamp the fuel line and remove it. Unbolt the carburetor and remove it from the snow blower. Remove the bowl.

Step 2: Inspect For Contamination

Take a close look at the carburetor and the bowl. If you notice a lot of gunk, then you will need to clean the carburetor.

If not, there may be wear to internal components, so you will need professional help.

Step 3: Clean The Carburetor

Remove all rubber seals and place them aside.

Fill a bucket with carburetor cleaner and leave the carburetor and non-rubber components in the bucket overnight. You may need to leave it longer.

When you reattach the carburetor, it makes sense to provide fresh fuel. Ensure you are using the right type of fuel.

If you need a full rundown of carburetor cleaning, check out this video:


We hope this guide has helped you to get your snow blower running with the choke-off.

You can usually solve this problem at home, but if none of these methods have worked then you may need to seek professional assistance.

If you have any comments or questions about this guide or snow blower troubleshooting in general, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

About Stephanie Hall

Stephanie is a DIYer and expert in using power tools. She is an architect and also provides design services. A yoga lover, she meditates to keep herself fit.

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